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First there was e-commerce, then m- and F-commerce and now, with today’s launch of Joyus.com, there’s v-commerce.
Billed as the fashion industry’s first premium video e-tailer — which in its first week features video sales and appearances from Richard Chai, Yigal Azrouël on behalf of his Cut 25 line, Christian Siriano, Nicole Miller and Rebecca Minkoff — founder Sukhinder Singh Cassidy came up with the idea because she was frustrated with the lack of entertainment available while online shopping.
“I found myself clicking on still image after still image,” said Cassidy, whose previous experience in the digital realm includes six years at Google and chief executive at Polyvore. “This went from being a passion to a pretty big idea. I asked myself what would happen if Hulu met Amazon Marketplace? What would happen if you merged commerce and video? It didn’t exist.”
Cassidy began working last October on Joyus, which she touts as the first completely integrated platform that merges shopping and video. The site carries only new, in-season product at full price that ranges from beauty to clothing and accessories to lifestyle items. Each video offering is typically live for a period that lasts between seven and 14 days, and consumers can rewatch a video at any time — even though the item might no longer be available for purchase. Items on Joyus are meant to be shared — and users are encouraged to share with their networks on Facebook and Twitter, or even embed them on their own blogs and Web sites.
“It starts with curation. We share products with love — and then we talk to the customer through ‘show and sell’ — showcasing the benefits of the product,” Cassidy said. “What we learned so far is that women love hearing from other women they trust, but it’s really being able to see [the product] firsthand in a way that only video can showcase. It’s a testament to the medium that we’re able to offer something beyond what a still image can do.”
Editorial videos are hosted by one of six different curators — including Gina Pell, founder of Splendora.com, The Beauty Bean’s Alexis Wolfer and stylist Jane Black — as well as the designers themselves, who will often be featured guests.
Currently, sales are 30 to 35 percent beauty, 20 to 25 percent apparel and 30 to 40 percent accessories and lifestyle, with about three new offerings launching a week (with the exception of this week). There’s also a “Bestseller” section on the site, which means that the staff will bring back videos that perform well, restock the item and make it available to users again.
Joyus launched in beta in the first quarter of the year with a test audience of 250 women, which expanded to 1,000 by the third quarter. In July, Cassidy acquired Pell’s 10-year-old blog Splendora and began marketing to its readership.